Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marketing: Developing an Author's Platform

By: Stephanie Burkhart

I'm not much of a fisherman. What little I've gleaned about fishing, I learned from my husband and my son who is in boy scouts. I do know this: you need a worm (or a fancy lure) to catch a fish. So when you put that worm on your hook and flick it in the water, how visible is it to the fish?

That worm is your platform. Simply, your author's platform is your visibility as an author. Think of it like this: your platform is your ability to sell your book RIGHT NOW.

So, how murky is the water? Can the fish (reader) see you? What do you do to make yourself a presence on the Internet that readers can find?

Keep in mind, even big name publishing houses are relying on you to build your platform. The basics include:

Establishing a website
Writing a blog
Having an active Facebook page
Having an active Twitter account

Remember it takes a while to build the basics. It's taken me 3 years to get over 2,000 twitter followers and 700 Facebook Fan Page likes. It might come sooner if you are able to dedicate more time a day to marketing and platform construction. As a new author, realize that this takes time and you need patience. Also, you must find a way to balance your platform building with your need to write.

Idea: Pick two social networks to focus on. I focus on Facebook and Twitter.

Once you have a FAT worm on your hook, starting fishing. Consider:

Booking blog tours with reputable blog companies.
Using newsletters. I publish mine quarterly.
Using contests.
Joining Yahoo Groups that focus on your genres.
Joining Facebook groups that focus on your genres.
Blog 2-3 times a week.
Use Triberr to amplify your twitter outreach.
Join Goodreads.
Create video book trailers to place on You Tube.

Remember: Your author's platform is your ability to sell books right now. You are responsible for building your platform. You might get some help in a couple of area from your publishing company, (it depends on their resources) but don't depend or expect them to build your platform for you.

Question: What do you do to build your platform (fattening your worm) What works for you? How much time do you dedicate to building your author presence? I'd love to hear your thoughts and share your ideas.

Reference for this blog: "Questions and Quandaries; What is Platform?" Writer's Digest Magazine, SEP 2014, pg 17. 

Author's Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She loves coffee, adores chocolate, and will be participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Santa Clarita, CA in SEP 2014. She lives in Castaic, CA. Her stories, "The Giving Meadow" and "First Flag of New Hampshire" are published with 4RV Publishing.








  1. Great post, Stephanie. I still struggle with all those things. I'm wowed by your Twitter & FB numbers. I've been working at it nearly 2 years & don't have near that much. I'm glad you listed a You Tube link. Everything I hear is that it's the platform in the now. Trailers galore.

  2. Janet, thanks for stopping by. It hasn't been easy. Trust me, there's not enough time in the day. I need help. Wish I could get an assistant, even part time to work on marketing while I'm at work! LOL!